Officer Caught After Fleeing Beer Garden Shooting

A military police officer who fled the scene of a Thursday night shooting in Phnom Penh in which he injured another patron was apprehended later that evening and is being questioned by the municipal court, according to authorities.

Hor Chanthou, 34, a captain in the media office of the National Military Police, is accused of firing his pistol while off duty at a Tuol Kok district beer garden on Thursday and was arrested the same night, National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said Sunday.

Brigadier General Hy said the captain claimed that he was drunk at the time, had cocked his gun in preparation for his trip home for self-protection, and discharged the pistol accidentally, letting off a round that struck the ground and sent a piece of a rock flying toward a fellow patron, who was grazed.

“He is a law enforcement officer, but he violated the law. He was careless, so we have to follow the law,” he said.

The spokesman added that Investigating Judge Chhe Virak questioned the captain Sunday and would do so again Monday.

Deputy prosecutor Keo Sokunthea said she had recommended a charge of causing involuntary bodily harm and another for the unauthorized handling and transport of a weapon.

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